Vintage Ephemera Checks: Free Digital Downloads

It’s day two with my new Epson Stylus NX625 and a nice little stack of cancelled checks dated 1900 from Wickersham Banking Co. of our own little P-Town!So many craft possibilities with such gorgeous papers. I scanned a few of the checks, front and back…to create FREE digital downloads. (Click on images for larger files)I printed the front images onto Epson Bright White paper.I like the perforated edges of the original checks. You can simulate this using the metal sawtooth blade edge of your aluminum foil or plastic wrap box. Fold the paper over the blade and run your fingernail along the top of the paper before perforating.

To stain the stark white cut & perforated edges of your color copy, press the edges into the moist coffee grounds leftover from the morning’s brew.

I usually don’t need to go far at all for project materials. Our recycling bins are just outside my studio door. Clearly I have a Calistoga Lime drinking situation. Time to put those bottles to more use! I peeled off the labels, which left a sticky residue, perfect for adhering my printed checks. Spray adhesive or other adhesives should work just fine, too. I didn’t mind having a bit of overlap of the check-turned-label, I made that section curl out just a bit for a more worn effect.

The little labeled bottles, now vases, look so cute on my shelf. Lest you think I’m a minimalist, those tiny stems are the only three things in my yard worth clipping at this time. One thing I am sadly not, and that’s a gardener. Oh, and remember what I wrote yesterday about the DURABrite® Ultra pigment inks being water resistant? When I filled the bottles, some water ran down the side over the labels. No harm done!!

Don’t miss entering to win an Epson Stylus NX625 with your creative 25-word comment on the giveaway post. Entry closes at noon, Sunday, July 10, 2011!!

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48 Responses to Vintage Ephemera Checks: Free Digital Downloads

  1. #1 - Kari Wolf says:

    Your soooo awesome : )

  2. #2 - charlotte lyons says:

    seriously- you are never-fail Amazing!
    that saw-edge off the box is fantastic! I made my own cookie cutters out of that one time. awkward but it worked for the job at hand.

  3. #3 - Sally Hackney says:

    This craft is so cool…and so are you!! Hugs!

  4. #4 - Diane M says:

    Thank you so much. I love what you’ve done with these checks. Great tips for perforations and staining.

    Diane M
    Surprise, AZ

  5. #5 - ann divelbiss says:

    love these!! thanks so much!!!
    this all-in-one is fabulous!!!
    i can only hope that i’m the lucky winner!!

  6. #6 - Heidi says:

    I’m definitely going to check out that printer. We have an HP but when we got Windows 7, it quit talking to the scanner and now it’s pretty much useless. 🙁

    PS–I had no idea they still made Calistoga! We used to live in Reno and we would buy the flavored bottles to take up to Lake Tahoe in the summer.

  7. #7 - donnalee says:

    awesome ephemera AND use of same! 🙂

  8. #8 - Roberta says:

    Thanks for the download Cathe…so cute! I also like the original lime green labels on the bottles for vases 😉 LUV the idea of the perforated edge cut…too cool! AND I’ll have to check in on those inks that you are using. BTW…do you use these when printing your photos and is it really much more expensive than regular inks? Thanks a bunch! Roberta

  9. #9 - Peg says:

    These are gorgeous papers to use for some many uses. Love your great way of covering the bottles with them. I had to CHECK that out again. (yuck yuck)

  10. #11 - Shoregirl says:

    Oooo I love what you did with them! Thanks so much for sharing with us!

  11. #12 - Mary says:

    Wow – what a review! I want to run right out and buy a new printer. Thanks so much for all of your posts and for all of your files that you share. Your work and generosity is amazing. Thanks, Mary

  12. #13 - patti says:

    love, love, love the vintage checks and what a great idea using the bottles….

  13. #14 - InklessinCO says:

    I just inherited a bunch of checks of the same vintage. These were drawn on Kankakee banks and have gorgeous engravings of women of the period. I’ve been trying to think of something to do with the images. I love the bottle labels. More, please!

  14. #15 - Carey ~ Gypsy Thread says:

    These are absolutely fabulous! Thank you so very much.

  15. #16 - MichelleGB says:

    Love these checks! And LOVE the tip about a creative use for my coffee grounds! Thanks for the review on the printer…it’s now on the wish list!

  16. #17 - Lauren B says:

    Cathe, thanks so much for the checks – you’re always very generous with download and ideas for thems. Thanks also for the (duh!) realization of using the perforated edge of kitchen wraps!

    Didn’t everyone have such beautiful everyday handwriting back in the day? You rarely see that anymore. 🙁

    And also, those pretty labels you tore off the sparkling water bottles will be the vintage ephemera of the future!!

  17. #18 - Julia D. says:

    The check labels are grand! I have antique bottles they will look wonderful on to display on a shelf. I used some of your prior labels on some smaller old bottles and have gotten many compliments.
    Thanks so much, Cathe!

  18. #19 - Darlene says:

    Thanks for those nifty tips on how to perforate paper – and age paper with coffee grounds. The latter tip is too cool.

    Even if I don’t win the Epson, I’m thinking of purchasing it. I’m very unhappy with my current Canon printer.

    Thanks again for sharing your ideas.

  19. #20 - Cristy says:

    Genius-using the serrated edge on the plastic wrap!
    I’ve been saving the boxes from tin foil, parchment etc. to decorate for Christmas cookie giving. Now they’re 2X’s as useful.

  20. #21 - Annalea says:

    Those are great, Cathe. Thanks so much for sharing those lovely images. I wish that more of our modern world had such pretty design. And I had totally forgotten about Callistoga . . . I grew up in CA, and used to love the stuff.

    Have a great weekend!

  21. #22 - Amy says:

    I need this printer because mine, barely graduated from being a dot-matrix, is so ornery that IT tells ME what it feels like printing.

  22. #23 - Charo says:

    Wow!!! Fantastic!

  23. #24 - Diana J. says:

    Thank you so much for these images! I am going to try to make a checkbook cover with them (with leather from an old jacket; thank you so much for that idea, too!).

    Thank you so much for sharing your creativity; it is always inspiring.

  24. #25 - Beau's Mom says:

    I use my printer for so much, making beautiful paper for making cards instead of giving all my money to Hobby Lobby and Michaels, that I needed a printer I could refill on my own.

    I ADORED my EPSON until it went to printer heaven. Now I use a CANON because the ink tanks are so easy to refill.

    I LOVE your idea for flower vases! Now I’m thinking about transferring my dish washing liquid into a pretty bottle, suitable to be left OUT between dishes!!!

  25. #26 - Sue@MyArtsDesire says:

    thank you! love these images…esp. on those bottles! and thank you for the adorable kitty cats in the next post as well!

  26. #27 - Sherri says:

    These are wonderful! Thanks for the coffee grounds tip. I just recently purchased an Epson 1400 printer to replace my old 1280 that finally died. I love Epson printers. I’m glad the all in one is giving you good quality. Especially the scanner. I wanted to be able to print 11×14’s so I opted for the larger printer. I need a new scanner. Maybe I’ll add one of these for smaller prijects later.

  27. #29 - Sherri D. says:

    LOVE what you did with the checks and the bottles! Ingenius! And, I kinda like your little flowers, very simple, but cute!

  28. #30 - Silvia Figueiredo says:

    beautiful project! I will certainly do the same with some bottles I hv.
    Thanx for sharing!

  29. #31 - Knotty Notions says:

    Love them!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  30. #32 - Immi says:

    Love the way you used this on the bottles!

  31. #33 - Jeanette says:

    I have to tell you that I LOVE YOUR SITE. I check on here at least every couple days and I have even tried some of your projects and techniques. I have make your shrinky dinkl jewlrey and am gather the nessesarry things to make the little cigar box bed. You site has got to be my favorite. Thanky ou for sharing your talents and visions. Thank you so much for the inspiration. Thanks for sharing YOU with Me.

  32. #34 - Liquid says:

    May I use these for commercial use?

  33. #35 - Sande T. says:

    Dear Cathe (pronounced the same as Cathy). My name is Sande (pronounced the same as Sandy). This is so funny. I spell my name differently because that is the way I learned to write it in shorthand a million years ago. I wondered how you came to spell your name differently.
    I wanted to write and tell you that I found your site last week and I absolutely love it. I can’t tell you how exciting your site is to paper crafters like myself. You are so talented and creative and I have learned more from your site than any other craft site I have found on the internet. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful ideas and techniques. If the internet offered a top honor for a craft blog, you should get it, and if you knew me, you would know that I do not hand out hollow praise. Thank you too for recommending the Epson printer. I am looking for a new printer now and appreciate your advice.

  34. #36 - Scrapbooking Ideas says:

    Awesome Idea!! I’ve got lots of nicely-shaped bottles. I’m about to create a creative decoration out of it! Thanks!

  35. #37 - Missy Edwards says:

    You inspire me!!!!

  36. #38 - Marilyn Rhetts says:

    Your ideas are terrific, thank you so much

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  38. #39 - Bernice says:

    Thank you so much for the many beautiful free images and downloads you provide. I notice not many people comment, but please know that your work is very much appreciated!

  39. #40 - Jeanie says:

    You’re witty – I like it 🙂

    Great post!

  40. Pingback: Favourite things: make this | Naomi Bulger

  41. #41 - ChrisA says:

    Cahte I love these old checks. Oh and Calistoga water. I too am from Petaluma. I now live in the awful Midwest and hate every minute of it. But can’t afford to move back home. I love love love Calistoga water and miss it, as they don’t have it here. I am going to give this a try but with some other kind of bottle.

  42. #42 - Alvina Kerns Rocque says:

    Hi Cathe, enjoy your site, when I see something I like I’ll “post” it to facebook. I enjoy recycling so really love seeing others doing it also! Keep up the good work! A fellow crafter, Alvina

  43. #43 - Christie says:

    These are so cute and would go great with my vintage car baby shower. But I must figure out how to incorporate them. Can I customize them, change the Color to blue and change the wording?

  44. #44 - Roz says:

    I love the idea of using the cancelled cheques for labels!! Lots of room for adaption there. Thanx!!

  45. #45 - Brenda says:

    Absolutely love, love love!! Thank you so very much

  46. #46 - Ann says:

    Thank You! They are wonderful!